MA - Push off?

MA - Push off?

Postby arothafel » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:12 pm

Things I'm working on.

1.) To stop bending so much at the waist. I think I'm making progress. As I ski a little more upright I feel more edge control throughout the entire ski -- from the ball of my foot to the arch. Sometimes, I end up in the back seat.

2.) Push off. I suspect I'm still doing it. Please verify. It's hard for me to tell even in my own video. I'm not sure what to look for. I think it's where my new stance leg seems to be extending too early in the turn. Is that the indicator? (See the still photos #1 - #2.)

3.) The right arm is still a challenge. It's totally reflex. I should continue to drag it, yes?



#1 Image #2 Image
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby leopold_bloom » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:08 pm

Hello arothafel,

Have a look at this youtube clip. Specifically the Grandi bit, about 17 seconds in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTboYL8CjaU

Here is a racer doing some skiing that's a little closer to recreational energy levels than the usual in-the-course full effort stuff. Not exactly textbook skiing; it looks like an easy warm up run. There doesn't look like there is a lot of effort to control the up motion. It looks like a fairly loopy transition trajectory rather than a more lateral move in which more of the up energy would be negated by flexing. So what does this have to do with your video clip? Just this: even in a less than optimal performance there are some visual cues of the underlying technique.

Have a look at when the skis are flat in transition. Is the old stance leg (now become the free leg) more flexed than it was at the end of the previous turn? I would say in most cases in this clip the answer is yes.

Compare your video. I would say there is less flex relatively when your skis are flat at transition. Does this mean push off? Not necessarily. A lot of that "flat and flexed" position is the result of flexing to absorb energy in the turn. Your turns are a little more relaxed (not a criticism) so I wouldn't expect as much flexed in "flat and flexed". All the same, a clean, committed release should produce some energy that would require some flexing. This is circumstantial and inconclusive evidence at best.

Now have a look at Grandi's stance foot from the end of the turn through the transition. There is an obvious lift and tip of the stance foot. The stance foot leads the tipping.

Compare your video. In the one really close up turn I think I see a different picture.

Too me it looks like you're hanging on to the old big toe edge a bit and riding it onto the new edge. The old stance foot isn't leading, it's lagging.

Is this one turn indicative of your skiing? It's not fair to say.

Are you pushing off? No, not really. You are riding an edge through the transition, perhaps. In a pure released transition there is a stage where you don't have the old edges and you don't yet have the new edges. I'm not sure if I see that consistently in your skiing. Sometime yes, sometimes no.

I'd like to see video of you doing Grandi's lift and tip (AKA super phantom) as an exercise in the context of your turn.

Leo
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby arothafel » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:01 pm

Hi Leo,

First off, thanks for taking time to look and comment. I received several PMs that agree with you. I guess what I like the most about this forum, is that almost all who comment do so with the intent to sincerely help. Not just analyze and critique, but more importantly offer solid suggestions. And you do so with the utmost care not to bruise any egos.

Frankly, with such careful consideration, I'm surprised more people are not posting video... but, I'll take advantage of it as much of it as I can!!

O.K. to the matter at hand.

1.) If you and others say I'm not pushing off.... than, hell... that's progress for me!!

2.) I've got some clips of steeper stuff where you may change your mind. I'll post below at the end of this post.

3.) Both you and HH agree on my hanging on to the BTE too long. He spotted it on the Carvers. Hence, I attempted some sort of lift and tip (more like javelins) on them last fall.

4.) I've watched that clip of Grandi many, many times. I see what you're pointing to

Here's my concern with lift & tip. Knowing that I'm extremely BTE dominant, do you think doing a "lift and tip" may cause me to immediately start to extend my new stance foot too quickly instead of being patient? That's another battle I fight. That's where the "O" frame came from. HH recommended it because he felt I didn't hang on to the LTE (free foot) long enough and went immediately to BTE - which lead to early extension, etc. I want to make sure I don't practice something that triggers a dead-end move (like the extension in my TFRs). I'll try it and see what happens.

Here's what I know to be true and you nailed it.
All the same, a clean, committed release should produce some energy that would require some flexing.


I do NOT make a CLEAN, COMMITTED release yet. At least not consistently. Sometimes I get it.. and it catapults me across my skis. Downright scary at times.

At any rate, I'll give it whirl and post video of some "lift & tip" in a few weeks.

I never see any of this stuff in my skiing until you, and others, point it out.

Thanks again, Leo.. you're an asset to this forum.

Art
Last edited by arothafel on Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby leopold_bloom » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:44 pm

Hello arothafel,

First, thank you for your kind comments.

When I read words like downright scary I am very encouraged. It is downright scary, at least at first, until you understand how much recovery capability you actually have. By way of analogy, most skiers would never attempt to jump across a nasty trough from one mogul to the next because they are intimidated by the thought of misjudging the jump. They don't know how much overshoot or undershoot they can compensate for by extending or flexing. Once you understand this, air in moguls becomes an easy and convenient crutch. It doesn't really require that much precision.

Similarly, you can compensate for an overly energetic release by extending your legs to maintain contact with the snow and allow the skis to arc back under your body.

Early extension is a recovery move, not a technique. But it comes in handy when you are experimenting with release dynamics.

I would encourage you to experiment. Find a soft groomer and go for it. Once you can create the "downright scary" on a regular basis you can learn to modulate your release. If you have to do some ugly extending or other stay alive moves in the process so be it. You may make some messed up turns but if you come away with a better understanding of the release it will be worth it.

Like so many things in skiing controlling your release is done indirectly. The more counter you hold at the end of the turn and the more abruptly you let go of your skis the more "downright scary" you will produce. An "energetic" release is no more strenuous than a less energetic release. The difference is not effort, it is timing.

I think most people's natural inclination is to "prepare" for the next turn by letting go of the counter and getting ready for the transition. This is wrong. If I'm not focusing on holding my counter, my turns go flat and lifeless. Holding counter and releasing out of it is a pretty subtle thing but you will know by the reaction when you've got it.

One other thought: I definitely feel a letting go, a cessation of effort, a relaxation, for a brief moment at the point of flex to release. When my skiing isn't working it's because I'm not letting go. Of course, the more challenging the situation, ice or pitch or whatever, the harder it is to relax.

As to your question, I don't think "lift and tip" will cause early extension as long as you can come to grips with the fact that you will topple over downhill and everything will turn out OK in the end. Maybe think "lift and tip and relax"?

You're making good progress.

Leo
Last edited by leopold_bloom on Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby arothafel » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:54 pm

Leo,
I think we posted at the same time so, I'm re-posting this video below your response.

O.K. Here's a little steeper terrain. This should validate what you already see and then some.



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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby A.L.E » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:38 pm

arothafel wrote:3.) The right arm is still a challenge. It's totally reflex. I should continue to drag it, yes?




Pole dragging to help establish CB seems to be working for you.

As a chronic incliner, pole dragging allows me to concentrate on the abdominal side muscle crunch and stretch plus a focus on levelling the pelvis.

If CB is ingrained then I would focus on having elbows more bent and brought closer into the body. That will be a more compact, athletic position from which to pole plant.
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby leopold_bloom » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:33 am

Hello arothafel,

Sometimes I find it challenging to ma fine points in video. It's easier for me to see things in person. Since I've never had the pleasure of skiing with you, I will present this as a theory to be confirmed by someone more familiar with your skiing. I take it you have had in-person instruction with Mr. Harb & Co.?

If I were out on the hill with you and I saw in person what I think I am seeing on the video clip here is how I would proceed.

"Make some long easy turns and see if you can find a moment of complete and utter relaxation in every turn. This moment should begin when you release your edges. When you think you have found it come and get me. I will be in the bar."

My natural inclination would be to charge you a large some of money for this advice and hopefully get you to pick up the bar tab as well. Fortunately for the unsuspecting public, I am not a ski instructor by profession. Having said that, I think when you find this moment and have some control over the length of this moment you will be well on your way to skiing like Grandi in that video.

If I were skiing with you I wouldn't offer any technical explanation whatsoever because I don't think that's what you need right now. I think you just need to find it and the it, in this case, is "the float".

Since I'm not skiing with you I will explain what I think I see.

Start by comparing your video to the Grandi video and get a general sense of the rhythm of the turns.

To me your rhythm is 4/4 time. Release, Cross-the-Skis, Engage, Engage.

Grandi's is 5/4 time. Release, Float, Float, Cross-the-Skis, Engage.

I think you're hurrying across your skis and you're getting yourself trapped in a position with a lot of tip lead and hip counter. This isn't a push off but it's some slightly unnatural act to move to your new edges. I think you may be resisting the force and substituting some other movement pattern to cross your skis.

Watch Grandi's inside leg. As soon as it's fully flexed, it's on to the next turn. Just one beat of Engage versus your two beats. But look at how his turns hook up! Why? It traces back to the float.

He's not wasting two beats doing nothing. Have a look at what the outside leg is doing prior to that point where you see it cut into the snow and send off spray. He is getting set up and recentred so when he needs to carve it's all there ready to happen. Look at how he opens at the hip joint prior to engagement. (As a reference, standing up would be open, sitting down closed.) It's easy to see in this video how this would affect balance over the skis. I would bet a lot of the recentering comes from a nice relaxed float in which he lets momentum carry him over top of his skis fore-and-aft. There is no resisting the force in his skiing.

Compare your hip motions to his. Do you see what I mean?

Leo
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby MonsterMan » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:10 am

Grandi's is 5/4 time. Release, Float, Float, Cross-the-Skis, Engage.


Love it!

I now understand better an excercise we were doing last year at Hintertux.

Jay, remenber 5,4,3,BAM! ?

My understanding at the time was not quite there, but now the lightbulb above my head has blown.

Thanks Leo and Art.

Art, is there any reason for the private messages being private? We could all learn more if we had access to the same information. Perhaps the poster's would allow you to publish some or all of their comments for the record.

Geoff
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby arothafel » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:26 am

You guys are all fantastic!

Everything you point out is exactly what I'm feeling in my skiing. Basically... I am too anxious. I ski too uptight.

HH, Diana and Max have all pointed this out. The need to be more patient and more relaxed. Often my shoulders are all scrunched up and my entire body too tight. No doubt it impedes any quality skiing. That's why I've been working hard at getting the "bent over at the waist" out of my skiing as well as relaxing my shoulders. A physical therapist told me that during all athletic performances (especially skiing) the shoulders should be relaxed. I don't drink or do drugs.. but perhaps I should reconsider! :D

Leo, once I find it, I'll buy pick up your tab and buy the entire bar a "round!" To your point, I will go back and study the Grandi video as well as HH's videos as it's all there. As I watch, I'll try to visualize and "feel" the rhythm. This is a huge help.. since I tend to be a visual learner.

ALE, the pole dragging is there to get rid of my right arm swing. From racing days, I used to bring it around to block.. but it caused so much rotation that I'd wash out my turns. HH recommended the drag and it seems to be helping in other areas as well. I agree with you that it looks kind of weird because my arm is not bent very much. I am over-compensating and need to fix this, too. I never noticed it until recent video.... but it's a better scenario than what I used to do... (I'd swing it all the way across my body - practically make me spin out!) Diana recommended several exercises to get my poles in a better position, too - similar to what you're suggesting - more compact. But that's another story.

Geoff - I only receive a few e-mails and so far they agreed with Leo. First off, I'd have to clean up the language and make some of it a bit more politically correct! These are friends of mine who lurk this site.. so for now I'll respect their confidentiality. You're not missing much!

Serious -- Yes... I noticed that too. You're right on the money. That's been an ongoing issue with extending my outside leg too quickly. All part of the same problem... rush rush rush...anxious, anxious anxious... The free foot really is disappointing. I'm not making excuses here, but it's the chest of drawers. I focus so much on other stuff that I forget the basics. Obviously, pulling the free foot back is NOT ingrained fully enough into my skiing. And, of course... that means I'm not tipping either!

I'm hitting the local hills today in Sunny California - So I'll either have good news to report or they'll be taking me off the hill in a rubber jacket!!

Thanks for all the help and suggestions. I might add that the more I post video, the more you guys are becoming familiar with my skiing and areas of development. As such, your analysis is incredibly accurate and measures up to the feedback I receive from HH as well as other PMTS coaches. This forum is the absolute best coaching tool.

Thanks again -- Art
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby milesb » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:02 am

Art, the 2 days I skied with you, you seemed alot more relaxed than your videos show. Well, except for on the steep frozen coral reef stuff....anyways, not sure why that was.
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby arothafel » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:29 pm

Yes.. Miles..
... but we were pretty much in soft bumps - and I don't "think" in bumps. I pretty much just react to them. Not to mention they force the "flex" issue. But, I'll bet if you go back to the tape, my arms are probably all over the place, no tipping, etc. I'm comfortable in bumps because as a teenager in Vermont we had a lot of 'em!

Jeezzz, the run out at Baldy felt like skiing down an elevator shaft lined with pine trees!!!

Admittedly, these are not the best videos of my skiing but it's a fair representation of what's going on.

Here's the good news. I went to Mt. High (the only ski area with gang markings on the chairs and towers!) today.

I did 2.5 hours of TFRs... and by golly... I think I sort of got it.

I literally had to break it out in sequences. Get in start position. Flex/Crouch. Flatten stance ski. Shift CA and stop in correct position (zipper facing fall line). Do other side. Then, after a while I was able to link a few. It is truly a different feeling than what I was doing on the video. I also noticed that when linking these releases... it seems to me the "FLEX/CROUCH" occurs a little later than my previous "UP" move. I can tell because my body still wants to come up to release.. but I fight it.. finish the turn and flex.

Hope to have new video (for verification of movements) in a few weeks. But, for now I'm excited because I think I'm getting it.

Thanks again for the help! - Art
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby leopold_bloom » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:59 pm

Hello arothafel,

It's time to close this thread. Go skiing and open a new one when you get back.

Leo
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby jclayton » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:39 am

Hey Art ,
Great stuff , great to see the improvements since the last time we skied together .
Jeremy
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby Max_501 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:27 am

Art, have you spent much time with weighted releases?
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Re: MA - Push off?

Postby arothafel » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:28 am

Max, thanks for responding to the posts...
Weighted releases... probably not as much as I should. I drill javelins (fore/aft), garlands (super strong tipping with as much range as possible), "O"frames (on flats) and two-footed releases. The TFRs are my nemesis. Also been spending a lot of time trying to cure my "bent at the waist" posture by "feeling" or staying aware of the pressure from the balls of my feet to mid arch.
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